Výběr zpráv ze sítě NucNet - 49. týden 2005

Majority of Britons Support Cautious Nuclear Build, Says Survey

The majority of the UK population (62%) would support an energy policy that combines increased renewable energy technologies with cautious nuclear build, a new survey shows.

In contrast, only one in three people, or 36%, say they support the use of nuclear technology itself, suggesting that support for nuclear increases significantly when there is some reassurance that it would not be in place of renewable sources.

The survey, carried out by Deloitte and Touche in November 2005, also revealed a low level of awareness regarding the source of future electricity generation. Thirty five percent believe that most UK electricity will be generated by renewable sources in 15 years time. In contrast, 23% expect most future supply to come from nuclear with only 18% identifying fossil fuel sources as likely to be the most prevalent. Twenty three percent admitted they did not know how the majority of energy would be generated.

Ross Howard, nuclear energy partner at Deloitte and Touche, said there is confusion and false expectation among the public in relation to future energy generation. “The expectation for renewables is clearly unrealistic – 15 years from now renewables might comprise up to 15% of the UK energy mix, which although a significant increase from about 4% today, falls a long way short of the aspirational views expressed in the survey.”

Mr Howard said one of the real challenges faced by the UK government as it approaches its energy policy review will be to better educate and inform the public on energy matters to ensure that opinions are not unduly affected by a fundamental lack of understanding of the facts. British prime minister Tony Blair confirmed in November 2005 that the energy policy review due next year will include the issue of whether the UK develops a new generation of nuclear power plants (see News No. 179, 29th November 2005).

Mr Howard emphasised the importance of an open, transparent and constructive debate. He said without this, it will be difficult for the government to set policy objectives in a way which will provide sufficient encouragement for the markets to invest with confidence in a range of new technologies including nuclear and renewables (see also News No. 145, 9th September 2005).

According to the survey, the greatest public concern relating to nuclear energy is disposal of waste (52%), followed by accidental leakage (22%), terrorist attacks (12%) and the cost of decommissioning (4%) with 9% of respondents having no concerns.

In another survey of the British public, published by research company Ipsos Mori on 1st December 2005 on behalf of the Nuclear Industry Association, 59% of respondents said they expected nuclear to be a part of the future energy mix. The survey also showed “significant improvements” in support for building new nuclear power plants to replace those being decommissioned, with 41% in favour of this, an increase from 35% in a similar poll in December 2004.

An increased proportion of the public, 33% from 28% last year, now see nuclear energy as a key secure and reliable source of energy in the future, the survey concludes.

Swedish Survey Rejects More Reactor Closures

Seven out of ten of Swedish citizens are against the closure of additional nuclear reactors in the near future, according to a new survey.

The survey* shows most Swedes – 65% of respondents compared to 26% – are against further closures such as that of Barsebäck-2 earlier in 2005, which was closed because the government failed to reach an agreement with the power industry on the details and timetable for a voluntary phase-out (see News No. 93, 31st May 2005).

Thirty-eight percent want existing units to continue operating until they need to be closed on safety or economic grounds, but not for any other reason – an increase from the level of 34% recorded in a March 2005 opinion poll (see News. No 57, 24th March 2005).

Asked about their general position on nuclear in the future, 20% said they support a phase-out in line with existing government policy, an increase of 7% compared to March.

Respondents wanting to continue with nuclear energy production and replace existing reactors when they reach the end of their design lifetimes decreased from 30% in the March poll to 24%.

Eighty percent of respondents said the most important environmental target within the energy sector is not to increase emissions of greenhouse gases, while 11% felt the protection of the country’s remaining un-developed rivers against hydro-electric power development is their most important objective. Only 5% said a phase-out of nuclear power is the most important target.

*The survey was carried out by the Swedish polling organisation Temo on behalf of the Analysis Group within Sweden's Nuclear Training and Safety Center (KSU). It was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 2,062 Swedes during November 2005.

Sweden has 10 reactors in commercial operation at three nuclear power plants: Forsmark, Ringhals and Oskarshamn.

Zdroj: NucNet

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